Southern Weddings

Tag: neutral bridesmaid dresses

I couldn’t agree more with Janie’s advice for brides: “Your special day will be magnificent in its own right. Find the one or two wow-factors that are important to you and trust that instinct. This was a budget-friendly way for us to navigate what was imperative to our vision and what was not.” In her and Adam’s case, my guess would be that the wow factors they prioritized were their floral arrangements (brought to life by the tremendously talented team at Southern Blooms) and the slate details they incorporated. The groom himself was responsible for making the slate menu cards, table numbers, and escort cards from shingles recycled from an old local school’s roof. It was such a unique and memorable detail, and the fact that they were a DIY made them all the more special!

Thank you so much to Jen Fariello for sharing this beautiful celebration with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother, aunt, maid of honor, and matron of honor accompanied me to Bella Rosa Bridal. I tried on seven dresses with the encouragement of those accompanying me, who used paper bridal gowns on dowel rods with feedback such as “ooh la la!” and “no way.” I knew my dress was the one I had envisioned, and was convinced that I could make it the dress of my dreams with a few custom alterations.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. In the practical sense, a first look maximized the time we had with our wedding guests. In the magical and romantic sense, most importantly, it offered us the opportunity to engage privately, prior to the ceremony. During the wedding planning process, we heard that the first look enriched the ceremony because the intimate moment together before the ceremony imparted a more robust experience of the wedding. We found this to be true for us.

Our dear friends, a married couple whom Adam and I highly regard and admire, played the processional music. For the bridal procession, “Simple Love,” a song performed by Allison Krauss, was played on the violin and guitar. We recessed to my childhood friend playing “Dancing in the Moonlight” on the guitar.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We absolutely could not have designed and executed such a stunningly beautiful wedding without the help of Shindig Weddings and Events. Meghan Streit struck the perfect and rare balance of personal interest and authentic enthusiasm for Adam and me AND effective communication, the ability to meet deadlines, and collaboration. Meghan offered incredibly creative and gorgeous ideas, which she and her Shindig team executed flawlessly. She was also budget-conscious and sensitive to our tastes, dreams, and needs. We could not possibly thank her enough!

Our venue, Gwyn Arvon, is an ancestral home, in Arvonia, Virginia. This is the place where Adam and I fell in love and spent numerous happy memories, so we hoped that adoring energy would emanate for guests at our wedding. In their own right, the home and grounds are incredibly beautiful–they was built for the purpose of showcasing Buckingham slate.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Adam’s mother died when he was sixteen years old. In her honor, we set out a chair in the first row of the ceremony. When Adam and his two brothers, who were groomsmen, walked by, they each placed a long-stemmed peony in the chair. In addition, Adam is quite handy and made slate menu cards, table numbers, and escort cards from slate shingles that once comprised the roof of a former school in Buckingham County. Anna Sisman provided calligraphy for menus, table numbers, and escort cards.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first look was incredibly special and memorable. Having a private moment to see one other prior to the hubbub of the day and to get grounded together in the commitment that we would be making was profoundly impactful. It was at this point that the weather began to shift from rain to sunshine, which offered us more hope for the flow of the day. It was tremendously touching to see each other after so much anticipatory build-up!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Adam and I met in a history class at the University of Virginia called “Rural Poverty in Our Time.” We knew of each other from class and around the grounds and the Corner at UVA. We reconnected through work at The Discovery School of Virginia for Boys. When I began work at The Discovery School, many youth who Adam worked with expressed to me, “You’re going to love Mr. Crist!” Little did I know, this Mr. Crist was a familiar face. We are both immensely grateful for the elapsed time between our first introduction and our sparked romance, which enabled us to become better versions of ourselves, and, in turn, better partners for each other. By our wedding date, we had been together nearly four years.
Tell us all about the proposal! Adam proposed on bended knee on February 22, 2015 under the guise of taking a photograph at Pippin Hill Vineyard. Following that, we returned home to a surprise gathering of our extended families and dinner at the Smoke House Grille in Scottsville, Virginia.
When did y’all get married? May 14, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 215
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was done by the talented Riki Tanabe of Albemarle Baking Company. It was a four-tiered cake with peonies from Southern Blooms decorating each tier. The cake featured chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and praline crunch filling and textured buttercream icing. The cake also featured vanilla cake, bavarian cream filling, and marzipan icing. We placed framed photographs of loved ones on the cake table as a “sweet” reminder of those celebrating in spirit.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Sarah Wood, our beloved officiant, was my high school chaplain and one of my field hockey coaches at Christchurch School, as well as my mentor and friend. I note that she was a “special incorporation,” because her history with me and her fast friendship with Adam made our premarital counseling, preparation for the ceremony, and the ceremony itself so much richer, and more personal and robust. Sarah recommended that we read “Life of the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen and “The Art of Being Together” by Francis H. Wade.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs by choosing a family-owned venue and performing the landscaping ourselves. We spent two months, with consultation by master gardener Jan Glennie-Smith, beautifying the grounds of the house. Although we worked tirelessly, we recognized that any imperfections could potentially make the outcome even sweeter. We cut costs by having close friends play the processional and recessional music, as well as by having an iPod and speakers for music at the cocktail hour.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your special day will be magnificent in its own right. Find the one or two wow-factors that are important to you and trust that instinct. This was a budget-friendly way for us to navigate what was imperative to our vision and what was not. Trust the creative expertise of your vendors!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are profoundly grateful for the wedding celebration and honeymoon that we were able to have. Now, we look forward to celebrating others’ and our own milestones and rites of passage. With our wedding ceremony behind us, we get to simply enjoy our marriage. We love the Central Virginia region that we live in and the hiking, canoeing, wineries, cideries, and breweries that it has to offer. We hope to celebrate our first anniversary with a trip to Europe.

Photographer: Jen Fariello | Planner: Shindig Weddings and Events | Venue: Private residence | Florist: Southern Blooms | Cake Baker: Albemarle Baking Company | Caterer: The Catering Outfit | Rentals: Festive Fare | Lighting: Skyline Tent Company | Band: The Significant Others | Paper Products: Design Corral | Bride’s Gown: “Jackie” by Paloma Blanca | Bridal Salon and Veil: Bella Rosa Bridal | Alterations: Fariba Alterations | Hair Stylist: Thairapy Salon | Makeup Artist: Carolyn Thombs | Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm for Bella Bridesmaid | Menswear: Jos A. Bank | Ties: Peter Blair | Transportation: Albemarle Limousine | Calligraphy: Anna Sisman

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Yum chicken and waffles bites! Those flowers are WOW

  2. avatar Skylar Caitlin reply

    That headtable installation is just stunning! Love the added lighting of the hanging, geometric lanterns.

  3. avatar Sera reply

    This is gorgeous! What a beautiful backyard wedding!

  4. avatar Dougie Cameron reply

    Some great advice here for those working to a tight budget.

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Though I have lived all over the country, I have always felt that there is something magical about the South. Of course, I am sure I’m a bit partial having grown up below the Mason-Dixon, but if Veronica and Patrick are any indication, my love is justified! Veronica and Patrick visited Trump Winery while dating and were quite smitten, so post-engagement, they didn’t have to look around much before deciding to invite their friends and family there to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding. These two might not have a drop of Southern blood in them, but with the help of Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, they planned a sweetly Southern soirée, complete with a family-style dinner that’d make even a born-and-bred Southerner feel right at home!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing this Charlottesville beauty!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was a pair of beautiful earrings from my mother-in-law. My something old was my veil, which is about 180 years old and has been worn by every bride in Pat’s family! My something new was easy, my dress. We kind of forgot the something blue, so we took a piece of baby blue string from a pair of pajamas and tied it around my bouquet for a bit.

I had a pretty precise idea of what I wanted. I actually went to a few different shops with friends, but ended up finding my dress by myself during my lunch break. My mom didn’t even see it until my first fitting!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not. For as long as I can remember, at every wedding I’ve gone to, when the bride comes down the aisle, I always watch the groom instead of the bride. The look on the groom’s face when he sees the bride for the first time is so telling, it’s so hard to hide your emotions at that point! That moment was really important to me, and I didn’t want to miss out on it.

I had a pretty specific vision for the flowers, and Amy at Blue Ridge Floral Design executed it perfectly. I didn’t want anything too put together or perfect. I wanted something that looked like it was just picked from a garden–very natural and beautiful with lots of greens and more muted tones. My bouquet was my favorite, full of peonies, garden roses, jasmine and Veronica flowers, which Amy included as a surprise.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While Pat was in law school in D.C. and I was still living in Miami (long before we were engaged), we made an effort to try and take short trips on the weekends I came to visit. We visited Charlottesville during a long weekend and did a winery tour. Our driver snuck us up to the top of the Trump Winery, and we loved it. When we got engaged, we didn’t look around much.

This is a little embarrassing, but our cake was so good that I took a tupperware full of it on my flight to our honeymoon! Rachel from Cakes by Rachel is apparently some sort of magician. The cake was really beautiful, and simply decorated with fresh fruit and some of the flowers we used. I’ve been eyeing the top part in the freezer for a few weeks–not sure if it’ll make it to the one-year mark!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met when we were 15 years old. Two of our best friends were dating and they introduced us, but sparks didn’t fly just yet. A few years later, we became Words with Friends opponents. Funnily enough, I read an article about a couple that met and got married via Words with Friends, and I jokingly sent him a message letting him know I wouldn’t be able to play with him anymore because I needed to play others in order to find a husband. Fast forward a couple of years, I was moving into my new apartment with my best friend (who was really excited for us to have this awesome bachelorette pad together). Patrick’s friend lived in the building, and when we asked him for help bringing up a couple of things, Patrick was there. Within a few weeks, we were dating, and my best friend’s bachelorette pad dreams vanished.
Tell us all about the proposal! Oh, this is a good one! Pat is from Peru, and we took a family trip to Machu Picchu. The day before we hiked up the Huayna Picchu, Pat watched a three-hour video of a guy who recorded his entire hike up with a GoPro strapped to his head. I was pretty annoyed, but I didn’t realize he was trying to stake out a good spot to propose! The next morning, we woke up at 4 A.M. and took a bus up a very narrow, winding path to the mountain. His sister insisted on braiding my hair, but I was so tired, I didn’t protest. When we got to the top of the mountain, I peered over a rock to look down at the bottom. When I turned around, Pat had gotten down on one knee, and his brother and sister were behind him photographing and videotaping us!
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. All of our songs were pretty special to us–music is an important part of our relationship. Pat and I decided on “Something” by The Beatles for our first dance. For months before the wedding, I searched for songs that would be fitting for my dad and I. We are both huge Pink Floyd fans, and a few days before the wedding, we decided that we didn’t really care to be traditional and chose “Wish You Were Here.” Pat surprised us and played the guitar during our dance! Pat and his mom danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, which was so fitting for them.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My family is from Nicaragua and Pat’s is from Peru, and for the most part, our friends are all Latin as well. We don’t have a drop of Southern blood in us, so it was a lot of fun to have our wedding in Charlottesville because it was such an adventure for everyone! I’d say the most Southern thing was the cuisine, especially because it was served family-style! Harvest Moon did an amazing job–we had chicken and waffle skewers, salted butter corn bread, beef short ribs, and mac and cheese.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the biggest way I cut costs was actually by hiring a wedding planner. Cinda at White Birch Events is truly a wizard. She reviewed all of my estimates and told me where I could cut costs, figured out where to repurpose my flowers with my florist, and simply brought me back down to earth when I would mention something that was outside of my budget or unnecessary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Travel! We have a huge list of places we want to visit, but limited PTO…

Photographer: Ashley Cox | Videographer: Carly Rae Productions | Planner: Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events | Venue: Trump Winery | Florist: Blue Ridge Florals | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Rachel | Caterer: Harvest Moon Catering | Band: The Finns | DJ: Slable | Bride’s Gown: “Calla” by Monique Lhuillier | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Rouge 9 Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Gucci | Groom’s Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss and Armani | Photo Booth: Mox Box | Get Away Car: Albemarle Limousine | Buses: Easy Riders

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar VERONICA + PATRICK | Ashley Cox Photography reply

    […] So honored to have this gorgeous wedding featured on Southern Weddings! […]

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I’ll be honest, when I learn that a couple meets at a philanthropic event for children, I’m going to have high hopes that their wedding is sweeter than sugar. Allison and Patrick did not disappoint! With the help of their planner, Molly McKinley, these two University of Florida alum (I see that chop, y’all!) planned a traditional wedding with plenty of heart. Allison and Patrick realized that this may be the only day where every person they love was in one room, so they wanted to take advantage of the chance to make each and every guest feel loved and important. They even took the time to write a personalized note to each of their guests, filled with words of love, gratitude, and memories, that was incorporated into their place settings. Such a kind gesture that I’m sure guests were touched by!

Big SW hugs to Morning Light by Michelle Landreau for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was gold and pearl drop earrings that once belonging to my Italian great-grandmother, Nonni Catherine. Our something new was a set of beautiful coupe toasting glasses given as a gift to us from our wedding planner. We borrowed the cake cutter Patrick’s parents had used at their wedding. My something blue was a sorority tradition, a knotted turquoise ribbon, sewn into my dress.

There were many aspects of our wedding that we wanted to remain very traditional with, including not having a first look. We both wanted the traditional moment of seeing each other for the first time during our ceremony. It was even more special to us because all our friends and family were able to be a part of that moment too.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but our ceremony was very personalized because it was officiated by a college friend, Joe, who was in seminary school at the time. He also happens to be married to the mutual friend who first introduced Patrick and I. Joe added many personal touches (we made vows both to God and each other) and tailored the sermon to our favorite Bible verses (Romans 12). He also read Louis Evan’s wedding prayer–a personal favorite of mine–which includes beautiful advice for a Christian marriage, such as, “May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: Out of all this world, you have chosen me!”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It was really important to us that every single one of our guests knew how much it meant to have them celebrating with us on our wedding day. We realized that our wedding day may be the only day in our lives where every person we love was in one room. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding writing personalized notes to each of our guests containing words of love, gratitude, and memories. Those notes were then placed in hand-calligraphed envelopes and incorporated into each of the guests’ place settings.

Our wedding cake was composed of alternating tiers of almond cake with raspberry filling and cinnamon cake with cream cheese filling. It was covered in fresh flowers and rough buttercream frosting. We also had wedding favors of raspberry and coconut French macarons. While the only bite of cake we ate was during the cake cutting, we arrived home from our honeymoon to a freezer full of macarons and were eating them for months!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met through Dance Marathon at the University of Florida, a philanthropy benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.
When did y’all get married? August 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In my opinion, part of being Southern is an emphasis on food, family, and the Lord. Each was highlighted in some way throughout our wedding day. I’d also have to say the way in which our wedding date was chosen adhered to some strict Southern norms. We only had August or December to choose from because we knew that holding a Saturday evening wedding during football season, would result in some pretty angry (and distracted) friends and family!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of having a professional photo booth vendor, we provided polaroid cameras for the guests to take photographs with. Our family and friends had a lot of fun capturing moments throughout the cocktail hour and reception. The photos were either taped into our guest book or taken home by guests as sweet mementos.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved every single vendor who was a part of our wedding, but hiring our wedding planner, Molly McKinley, was the best decision we made. I wrestled back and forth over whether I needed a professional planner for the year leading up to the wedding, but looking back, I literally could not be happier with our decision. I can’t imagine the planning process without Molly. She is an advisor, artist, and friend, all in one. Every other vendor who exceeded our expectations were by her suggestion. She spun my ideas into a reality that was even better than I had imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get so wrapped up in planning the wedding that you forget to plan for the marriage. The wedding is one day. The marriage lasts all the rest. Surround yourself with people who can not only give you advice and guidance, but also some loving perspective when you need it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We currently live in Atlanta, Georgia (with our cat Lilly) and are loving newlywed life. Every day is an adventure and we look forward to growing our love for each other for many years to come. We both look forward to all the little things that come with living with your best friend, such as trips to the farmer’s market, lazy Friday nights, and learning more about each other. Marriage is a wonderful gift and we’re thankful to be sharing it with each other.

Photographer: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Planner: Molly McKinley | Venue: Foxhall Sporting Club | Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets | Cake Baker: Confection Perfection | Caterer: Home.Made | Rentals: Unlimited Party and Event Rentals, Event Rentals Unlimited, and Southern Vintage | DJ: Black Tie Events | Paper Products: Plain Jane Designs | Bride’s Gown: Style L318 by Legends by Romona Keveza | Bride’s Veil: The Sentimentalist | Hair and Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy in Topaz | Linens: I Do Linens | Calligraphy: Lydia Whitener

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Everything about this wedding is elegant, simple, with details in all the right places. Truly swoon-worthy, (& pin worthy!)

  2. avatar Elle reply

    So very soft and beautiful!

  3. avatar Casey reply

    I live in Georgia and I am looking for this exact dress, where did you find a retailer around this area that carried the designer?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Casey! Romona Keveza Legends (the designer of this gown) is available at two Georgia salons: Bridals by Lori and BlueBell Bridal. I hope you find your dress! xx, MAK

  4. avatar Allison & Patrick: The Wedding at Foxhall Resort – Fine Art Wedding & Portrait Photography Serving Atlanta & Destinations Worldwide reply

    […] thanks to Southern Weddings for sharing this sweet love story on their […]

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